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The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Reading Edition (Belknap) Hardcover – September 24, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Belknap
  • Hardcover: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; Reading ed edition (September 24, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674676246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674676244
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This is now the definitive text of Dickinson, a poet one can open at random and find something exhilarating. (The Guardian)

Mr. Franklin is the recognized authority on Emily Dickinson's poetry and gives us 1,789 poems, the largest and most accurate collection of her verse...For all those who love Emily Dickinson's unique verse this is a treasure trove from which to choose. This is a publishing coup of the first order. (Contemporary Review 2000-10-01)

Not only is it the 'authoritative' and 'definitive' edition of her complete poems, it is a gorgeous volume printed by the Belknap Press, complete with a crimson ribbon bookmark...For those who like Emily Dickinson and who want all the poems as she wrote them, unmolested by well-meaning editors and thoughtless publishers, this is the book. In one volume you can hold the closest thing to the real Dickinson that anyone will ever get. (bn.com)

About the Author

R. W. Franklin was Director of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. He is the recipient of the Emily Dickinson International Society's Award for Outstanding Contribution.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a fine addition to anyone's collection of books on Dickinson.
Elaine Gerard-Climo
Still, Franklin has worked with care, intelligence, scholarship, and order on finding the best renditions of her poems, and these are those.
D. Fineman
Johnson's readers' edition-the one without all the scholarly apparatus-contains 1775 poems.
George H. Soule

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

156 of 158 people found the following review helpful By George H. Soule on September 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Now there are two readers' editions of Emily Dickinson's poems that are usable for close readings and scholarship. By usable, I mean that the texts--note the word "texts"--are close to what Emily Dickinson wanted them to be. The earlier Thomas H. Johnson text has been an acceptable and competent version since it was published in 1955. Johnson's readers' edition-the one without all the scholarly apparatus-contains 1775 poems. (In the same year Belknap Press of Harvard University Press issued his three-volume variorum of all the known poems.) This is cool. This new version of Emily Dickinson poems was edited by R.W. Franklin, and the readers' edition was published in 1999. It contains 1789 poems-unfortunately with a different numbering than Johnson--based, we are told, on probable date of composition. Franklin also edited a fresh variorum edition also published by Belknap Press of Harvard. I am boring you with all of this detail to tell you that although the Johnson texts are good texts if you are serious about Dickinson--meaning if you actually care about what she wrote on the page--the Franklin will give accurate texts and is the new authority. F.W. Franklin has been working since the '60's on details where Johnson perhaps lacked information and insight. He knows whereof he speaks, and he has done his utmost to reassemble Ms. Dickinson's original manuscripts in their proper order. Previous versions of the poems--those before Johnson and Franklin--regularized rhyme and otherwise abrogated the accuracy of the poems. They were cleaned up according to late 19th century standards, and the texts--despite editorial comments to the contrary--are corrupt. That means that they are inaccurate.Read more ›
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By D. Fineman on March 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you know Dickinson's compositional method -- with almost no publication in her lifetime, often with many versions of one poem, and with poetic significance altered by the paper and exact handwriting -- you will recognize that any printed edition of her work cannot be perfect. Still, Franklin has worked with care, intelligence, scholarship, and order on finding the best renditions of her poems, and these are those. If you learn to love her, you may want the hardback! Her "little" lyrics are a joy forever, and you may wear out your copy.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By pghkitten on September 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The readers' edition of The Poems of Emily Dickinson provides a condensed and affordable alternative to the three-volume variorum edition, also published by Belknap. It contains the same number of poems, but omits the alternate versions and contextual notes Franklin includes in the variorum. I prefer this edition of Dickinson's poetry to the 1955 edition edited by Thomas Johnson because it includes several poems the earlier one didn't, and because Franklin seems to have a better handle on transcribing Emily Dickinson's sometimes confusing handwriting than Johnson did. This collection is a good acquisition for anyone planning to study Dickinson, or anyone who wants to read her poems in their original, non-Victorianized form. Her original spelling and punctuation lend even more character to her already intriguing poems, so reading them this way is an experience I would definitely recommend.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for anyone who LOVES Emily Dickinson. Although it does not contain all the different versions of her poems, it is comprehensively edited to have the version of each known poem that is believed to be Dickinson's most complete and revised. This edition also seem to have the most complete collection of poems--1,789-- compared to the other "complete poems". However, if you are looking for an edition for studious reasons, this edition does have different numbering for the poems than the ones usually used (the editor claims them to be in the most accurate chronological order possible).
The binding of this book is VERY nice and has its own ribbon for marking pages. Definitely a nice book.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Apalled on August 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Amazon is doing a bait-and-switch on the Kindle edition of this. You don't get the Franklin Reading Edition--instead you get a cheaply made version of a 1955 Edition of Dickinson. DON'T BUY THIS! If you do, demand your money back and demand that Amazon remove this link. It's shoddy practice and should be criminal, if it isn't.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Moore on April 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was excited (not to mention naive) to think I could get the Franklin ed. of Dickinson's poetry for a mere 99 cents. But then I saw that the ed. is only the old Todd-Higginson, which is free elsewhere. I would pay, say, 10 bucks for the Franklin, but it's apparently not available for Kindle. Shame. Neither is the slightly less authoritative Johnson ed. from the '50s. It's sad that, by and large, the Dickinson most people read and have read--in books, websites, and now e-readers--is bad versions of her poetry. Emily liked the dashes above all, and Higginson, among others, arrogantly "corrected" Emily's poetry for her, since she was not a "professional poet." Well, no one needs (or needed) to "correct" Dickinson's poems for her. They are very great, almost all 1800 of them. They are little gems, filled with wonder, elliptical diction, symbols that work in multiple ways, doubts, love for nature, love for love, and a great working knowledge of the ideas (and pop culture) of her day. So get with it, somebody, give us Kindle readers the Dickinson we deserve! What we have now is fine for someone living in 1900, but we are, or should be, beyond that.
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